The Hamptons may be a summer playground for the rich and famous, but what happens in winter? Turns out, there’s almost as much to do, but the prices — and the crowds — drop with the temperature. Find restaurants, night life, ice skating and more — even surfing.
The luxury hotel, restaurant and bar Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton is hard to get into during summer, but now it’s a different scene. “We kind of have a more ‘B&B’ feel this time of year,” says Courtney Fitt, guest services manager. “It’s really such a perfect time out here in the offseason, to do something romantic or just tuck away.” Stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner in chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s elegant restaurant — reservations still recommended for the latter only because the kitchen might close early on quiet nights.
WINTER DEAL $295-$395 gets a standard king guest room for two, down from $1,595-$1,795 in summer. (631-537-0870, toppingrosehouse.com)
ALSO TRY Gurney’s Montauk is a well-known all-in-one place to stay year-round. This winter, guests can spend Saturdays at the hotel’s Regent Cocktail Club, where a complimentary mixology class is held from noon to 12:45 p.m. Then hang out until 5 p.m. at the bar near the dual-sided fireplace and return from 8-11 p.m. for live music. The hotel’s deck firepit is almost always fired up, and there’s an ocean-fed seawater pool along with spa, sauna and steam room. (631-668-2345, gurneysmontauk.com)
Celebrity-spotting is practically a summer sport at Nick & Toni’s Mediterranean restaurant in East Hampton. Still, “it’s so much more cozy this time of year,” says general manager Julie Berger. “We have a fire going; you can take more time to chat with our bartenders, engage in conversation.” Walk in (or make a reservation) for dinner beginning at 6 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. The restaurant adds to its offseason calendar with happy hour at 5:30 p.m. (except Saturdays) and a Sunday brunch that leads into an extended happy hour at 2:30 p.m. (631-324-3550, nickandtonis.com)
WINTER DEAL Prix-fixe dinners are offered for $30-$40 every night except Saturdays (and Tuesdays, when the restaurant is closed).
Hit the water
Although the idea of getting into the Atlantic Ocean in winter might seem brutal, “you don’t feel cold at all,” says Kristin Senese, who offers year-round surfing lessons. “Getting out there, with the summer crowd gone, sometimes snow is falling — it’s awe-inspiring,” says Senese, co-owner of CoreysWave Professional Surf Instruction, based in Montauk. Lessons include use of wet suits and instruction at Ditch Plains Beach, a top destination for East End surfing.
WINTER DEAL Winter rates run $150-$190 for 60- to 90-minute lessons (regularly $215) and include use of a board, wet suit and head/hand/foot protection. (516-639-4879, coreyswave.com)
Pictured: Surfing student Jenn Joy, left, and her instructor Corey Senese paddle for a wave in the middle of a snowstorm in Montauk on Jan. 7, 2017.
ALSO TRY For a different sort of fun on the water, the Viking Starship in Montauk runs winter cod-fishing charters from 3 a.m.-4 p.m. that cost $125 ($65 ages 5-12). Reservations recommended. (631-668-5700, vikingfleet.com)
Pictured: Mavros Benis of Montauk laughs while fishing on the Viking Starship in the Atlantic Ocean, south of Block Island, on Jan. 21, 2013.
Night life goes strong at Union Cantina in Southampton with DJs and live music weekly from Thursday through Saturday (631-377-3500, unioncantina.net).
Southampton Publick House has seasonal beer on tap in addition to year-round selections (631-283-2800, publick.com).
Pictured: Brewmaster Evan Addario
Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett goes Saturday-nights-only through February with live music most weekends (631-267-3117, stephentalkhouse.com).
Pictured: Thomas Bradley Muse of Montauk takes the crown at the seventh annual Mr. Amagansett fundraising pageant at Stephen Talkhouse on March 5, 2016.
Keep warm during Hamptons winters at Indian Wells Tavern in Amagansett (631-267-0400, indianwellstavern.com).
Lace those skates
East Hampton’s Buckskill Winter Club has an outdoor ice rink open to the public daily, as well as a lodge with a blazing fireplace and a snack bar. Rates are $17-$27 for ages 16 and older, $12-$19 ages 6-15 and $10-$12 younger than 5 (631-324-2243, buckskillwinterclub.com).